While the the world struggles to synthesise graphene in meaningful quantities and at suitable process, others are already looking to the future – penta-graphene.
It is a great idea but not one that will set the world alight soon as it’s in the same state as my forthcoming album of technopunk C-pop – it’s still an idea. But unlike my musical ambitions which merely require me to stop thinking about commercial applications of graphene for a bit and re-familarise myself with GarageBand, the production of the theoretical penta-graphene requires an also theoretical precursor material, T12-carbon. Hmmm.
Realising these applications will obviously require penta-graphene to be synthesised, which Wang thinks can be done by peeling single sheets from a layered material known as T12-carbon, although this arrangement of carbon is also purely theoretical at the moment. ‘We are looking for some experimental groups in China that are good at synthesising new materials,’ says Wang. ‘Penta-graphene is energetically more stable than C20 [and so] we hope that it will not be so difficult to synthesise.’
David Bradley at Materials Today has a technical look at this based on the original papers. You may have noticed though that this hasn’t stopped anyone from predicting all kinds of applications for penta-graphene, or from me hoping to set Ibiza (or maybe Hainan) alive this summer with my efforts.